Learning

Gina Butz Uncategorized 2 Comments

The garbage disposal in my parents’ kitchen clogged two nights ago. This was inconvenient on a number of levels, such as: my parents were gone, my husband was gone, I am not good with tools, and oh yeah, after 13 years overseas I lack certain skills most people have gained by this point. In other words, I haven’t interacted with a garbage disposal since I was a teenager.

Spending most of my adult life outside of the States has left me strangely imbalanced in my abilities. Sure, I can help you bargain for something in Chinese and get the local price, but I did not know that potato peels shouldn’t go in a garbage disposal (but for the record, that wasn’t what caused the clogging). I may have mad chopstick skillz, but I don’t have a clue how to unclog a disposal, or when or how to call a plumber.

To make it more fun and challenging, one of the pipes below the bathroom simultaneously began dripping in the basement, and both dogs decided the moment needed to be punctuated by excessive barking. “This is exciting! It’s a big mess! You’re clueless!” I think is how it translated.

So I called some family friends, and was immediately cheered by their voices, especially the one that said, “Why don’t I come over and check on it?”

Half an hour, a messy kitchen floor and an unintentionally wet friend later (there was a lot of water trapped in there!) I had a working disposal again. Not only that, but I think if it happened again I might be able to fix it myself. We’re all going to pray it doesn’t come to that, but it encouraged me to think, “I might be sorely lacking in some basic adult skills for life in America, but they are not unlearnable.”

Which is good, because last night I got to practice, “What to do when your mini-fridge was set too cold and caused a can of soda to explode, bursting the door open.” Opportunities to be an adult abound!

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